AskBio buys BrainVectis for early-stage gene therapies

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Rost-9D)
(Image: Getty/Rost-9D)

Related tags AskBio BrainVectis Gene therapy

AskBio acquires gene therapy biotech working on treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical announced that it had acquired the Parisian biotech, BrainVectis, and its pipeline of gene therapies.

BrainVectis originated from research at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, before moving its works on targeting the cholesterol pathway from the institute into a spinout.

Specifically, the biotech is working to develop gene therapies that encourage the expression of the CYP46A1 enzyme in the brain, which is linked to both Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

As a result of the acquisition, BrainVectis will operate as a subsidiary of AskBio, retaining its office in Paris. AskBio noted that it would use its capsid and synthetic promotor design technology and manufacturing capabilities to advance the development of BrainVectis programs.

BrainVectis is currently developing its lead gene therapy candidate BV-CYP01, which has progressed through preclinical trials and received orphan drug designation from the European Commission.

CYP46A1 is the enzyme that turns excess cholesterol into a derivative that is able to move from the brain to the blood. This enzyme is reduced in the brains of patients suffering from Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, leading to cholesterol accumulating in the brain.

The biotech anticipates that increased expression of CYP46A1 in patients could lead to therapeutic benefits. The treatment is delivered by adeno-associated viruses (AAV).

The exact financials involved in the acquisition were not revealed.

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